tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 11, 2013 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma has 19 minutes and the gentleman from wisconsin has 21 minutes remaining. mr. lucas: i yield to the gentleman from north dakota, mr. cramer, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. cramer: i thank the chairman for yielding the time and long and suffering persistent leadership and i rise to ask my colleagues to please oppose efforts in this house to punish success and vote no on the ryan resolution. . . to maintain our farm base and the stable food supply it provides, proper risk mitigation is essential. though attacking the wealthy may appear to be normal, a.g.i. limits for crop insurance will drive out large-risk pool participants making it less affordable for those farmers
least able to do without it. in north dakota the average farm is markedly different than the farm in wisconsin. north dakota family farms are thousands of acres involving multiple generations. the proposed a.g.i. limits ignore this reality. they not only include income from farm operations but other wholly unrelated earnings. usda research shows average off-farm income greatly exceeds on-farm income making the targets of this provision more collateral than actual. american farmers largely support the major policy shift that eliminates direct payments relying solely on this cost sharing arrangement with the federal government resulting in 10% taxpayer savings. unlike previous subsidies, farmers pay for this by contributing 40% of the premium and the other 60% is not expended by the government unless a claim is made. the increaseing role of federal
crop insurance as the family farm safety net has diminished the need for crisis appropriations. absent the stability of an actuarially sound program, future catastrophic disasters will result in greater ad hoc disaster payments. let's not lose the momentum to shift from direct payments to crop insurance by compromising the financial soundness of this important program. as world population grows, the demand for food will increase. we should herald efficiency and increase product iity. neither is achieved by punishing our most successful and innovative farmers. please oppose the ryan sense of house resolution and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. ryan: i yield two minutes to the gentleman, mr. chaffetz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. chaffetz: i thank chairman ryan for putting this together and also take time to thank and recognize mr. lucas, his tone
and tenacity in putting together a farm bill, he's served as an example in this house of how to be a chairman and bring together divergent groups. i'm supportive of what we've done and i'm supportive of the resolution here today. implementing a 15 percentage point reduction in crop insurance for those exceeding $750,000 or $1.5 million for joint filers, juste lick the senate amendment, seems to be common sense in my mind. however it calls for the elimination of the delayed implementation in the senate amendment. the senate amendment delay this is. we're getting rid of the delay of implementation this means test proposal would save money over 10 years. on average, taxpayers are covering 62% of crop insurance premiums this proposal would reduce that to about 47%, roughly, for high income producers.
it's still a generous deal for profitable producers. we encourage profitability, we want them to be as prosperous as they possibly can. that does not mean we have an unlimited amount of money that we can continue as taxpayers to cover some of those risks. this reduction impacts roughly the top 1% of producers. there are other government assistance programs such as pell grants and food stamps and earned income tax credits that have some sort of means test to them. at least we can do is implement a modest means test for crop insurance subsidies for those making more than $750,000 or $1.5 million for joint filers. to be clear, nobody is kicked out of the program. nobody is eliminated from this program. contrary to the opponents' claims this will not harm the insurance pool by driving out low risk producers. even with a 15% reduction, the subsidy would still be huge and would be a good deal for high income producers since about half of the premium would still
be subsidized. with that, mr. speaker, i will yield back. and encourage passage. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah yields back. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: i wish to yield four minutes to the gentleman from indiana, mr. stutzman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. stutzman: i thank the gentleman and commend him for his hard work on the farm bill. i know this has been a long and drawn out process. but obviously a lot of changes in agriculture and also with the food stamp policy with the economy. and i know that this has been very difficult. but i do want to rise in opposition to this sense of the house. i believe that as a farmer from indiana who uses the crop insurance program, i understand a little bit about how this does affect farmers. fers of all, i would say that enge it's the right thing for us to do to eliminate the direct
payment program. i think that's the right policy and that is in the bill and i would continue to support it. but i do think that we have some work to do on the crop insurance program but this is not the answer. if we're trying to limit or put a means test on farmers for those who you would define as the wealthiest farmers in the country, i don't believe that this is the correct way to do it. if you want to look at -- look at agriculture across the country. you have corn farmers in the midwest, soybean farmers in the midwest, you have specialty crops whether it's green beans, strawburies, carrots, potato -- strawberries, carrots, potatoes, there are different variables in the amount of income per acre. there's it's 10 acres or 10,000
acres, i believe the risk is still great to american farmers and producers. let's also remember that the premium support is not a cash subsidy to farmers. farmers don't all of a sudden open the mailbox and get a check in the mail with premium support which i think is an appropriate system for our insurance programs that the federal government can participate in, but i don't believe that this -- using the a.g.i. is the correct way to measure whether farmers should be participating at certain levels or not. if we really wanted to means test we would use taxable income where we know that farmers really do believe, where farmers would be reporting certain incomes. and a.g.i. is -- can vary from crop to crop, from farm to farm. so taxable income would make much sense if we're fwoning to talk about any sorts of means testing.
also i believe that it undermines the important landlord-tenant relationship. i specifically have been involved in this when it comes to direct payments. obviously with the increased cost of farmland over the past several years. those relationships are very, very important and very valuable and almost half of the farmland in this country is rented. i know that on our farm, we rent almost three quarters of the land we farm and if landowners can no longer afford crop insurance, they can simply transfer that risk to tenants through cash leases. so you're ending up hurting the smaller farmers that rely on rented farmland. so this is -- i don't believe that this particular idea is ready for us to move forward on. enge it needs more work. i think that the intentions by
the author are sincere and in trying to lessen the burden on the american taxpayer, but at the same time let's not hurt the american farmer and create basically a system that can treat a farmer in the south differently than a farmer in the midwest or a farmer in the north. let's go back an re-evaluate the system. you talk to the farming industry. you talk to farmers. they will come to the table and will try to find a reasonable way. so at this time, i would oppose this sense of the house and i yield back to the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana yields back. the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. ryan: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. hanna. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. hanna: i thank the gentleman for yielding and rise in support of the ryan sense of the house resolution which would improve the 2013 farm bill by reducing
insurance subsidies for the wealthiest producers and saving taxpayers almost $1 billion. the senate bill encludes a provision authorized by senator richard durbin and tom coburn to reduce the level of crop insurance premiums for participants with an adjusted gross income over $750,000 by 15%. the amendment was approved in the senate on a bipartisan basis, 59-33. during the house consideration of the farm bill, i offered a companion amendment which was unfortunately not made in order. by supporting this sense of the house, our chamber now has an opportunity to go on record to support this modest, very commonsense reform. the limitations -- the limitation is expected to impact only 1% of the wealthiest farmers in the entire country. the vast majority of farmers in our district will see no change in the level of premium provided by the federal government.
last year, the federal government spent $7 billion to cover 62% of crop insurance premiums. a g.a.o. 012 study found that 4% of the most profitable farmers accounted for nearly one third of all federal premium support. now is the time to include reforms ans testing to in crop insurance programs. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the ryan sense of the house, to protect taxpayers in the new farm bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: i have no additional speakers. i realize my colleague has the right to close and reserve until just before he closes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma yields -- mr. ryan: i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from maine.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognize for two minutes. ms. pin fwree: thank you, chairman ryan, for yielding me this time. i'm pleased to be on the floor for this bipartisan issue and i'm happy to be here along with the chair of the agriculture committee who i've had the privilege to work with though we don't agree on this issue. i was pleased to offer a similar amendment in the farm bill process and was glad to see mr. hanna speak on that earlier, this amendment was called the hanna-pingree amendment, i digress for a minute because i was particularly sentimental about that amendment because my daughter is named hanna pingree. i'm pleased to see we're back here scutsing this important topic. the sense of congress is a very small step toward a basic, commonsense reform, modestly reducing premium paymenters in richest and most successful farm
businesses in america. don't let anyone tell you otherwise. 99% of crop insurance holders will see absolutely no change in their premium payments. but for a very few, the absolute richest, they will see a very small increase in their premiums. we are just asking those few to pay something a little closer to their fair share. to put this in perspective, crop insurance is the only farm income support program that is not subject to some form of payment limitation or means testing. honestly, i would like to see a much stronger crop insurance reform but for now, for this farm bill, for today, this is a step in the right direction. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to vote in support of this commonsense reform and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yolds back. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. lucas: i yield the balance of my time to -- or as much time
as i i might consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lucas: thank you, mr. speaker. this debate is coming to a conclusion. i appreciate that greatly. the civil tone, the nature of the discussion. something that we should do more of in this body. but i note a couple of quick thoughts to my colleagues. there has been many references made to the historic crop insurance payments made in the 2012 crop year. one of those amazing circumstances where huge amounts of the midwest, some of the midwest productive cornland in america, simply didn't produce a crop, or not much of a crop. that's no fault of the farmer involved. that's mother nature's decision not to provide the right am of moisture or in other places, too much moisture. but you see, that's what crop insurance is all about. when i first came here, we had a system that worked around not
crop insurance, which didn't work very well and wasn't subscribed to by a lot of people, we had a system of ad hoc disasters. if you had a problem here or a problem there, then you'd have a special appropriation bill to fund that disaster. and those special billed tended to grow and expand -- bills tended to grow and expand and over time they became a huge drain on the treasury. that's why starting aggressively in the 1996 farm bill, pushed even harder by then chairman peterson in the 2008 farm bill, the focus became no more ad hoc disaster bills. have a crop insurance program that works. make it clear to producers, if you have a problem, you have to have insurance, you have to participate, you have to pay the premiums. now, over the course of approximately the last decade, setting the 2012 year aside,
this has become an amazingly orderly system. many members of this room don't remember ad hoc agricultural disaster bills. because this has worked that well. and i would challenge you and most, more than the majority of he years, the resources coming to the program have been greater than the payments going out, but that's the way insurance is supposed to work. you pay in in good years, you hope you never use the product. but in bad years, the assistance is there. call it crop insurance, call it life insurance, call it fire insurance on your house. it's the principle behind the concept. now, the specific language we address here. there's been much discussion about the draft that the united states senate has acosmopolitanned in their farm bill -- adopted in their farm bill. same 750 number. it does include a study. but one of the main differences between what we're addressing today and what the senate has in
their language going to conference is that the study in effect requires that u.s. da look at the -- usda look at the effect of this limitation on participation in the program and determine if that affects the viability of the program. does it change the dynamics? does it suddenly become a greater expense, as you shrink that pool? and it gives the secretary the authority to, if that study determines that this will be negative to crop insurance, to suspend the provision. that's not in this sense of congress. it says you shall, you will. one other passing thought. there's been a lot of discussion bout reducing the numbers from 65% to 50%. the percentages. i just simply note to you that in many cases that in effect is not just a 15% move, it's a 40%
to move effect. think about that. -- move in effect. think about that. if you're a farmer, which is a business person, assessing the cost of your inputs, trying to match that up with the potential return on your outputs, you're going to make those hard business decisions. again, i think the world of my colleague, the -- i think the world of my colleague, the chairman of the budget committee. i know he has a lot of things on his plate and i know he's had a great many challenges in his tenure as chairman of the house budget committee. but i would tell you that i think the ag committee has worked very diligently to craft language that we are now about to send to conference to work out the ultimate bill that reflects a lot of open process. on the committee, on the floor, a lot of input with motions to instruct today and another sense of the house resolution. we've acknowledged and responded
to that input. you've battled, as members of this body, and debated and discussed and voted on all these issues before. i just ask my colleagues, remember what this body decided not all that long ago. and also, we go to conference with the senate, it's going to be a very difficult thing to protect our $60 billion in mandatory spending reform that you've directed us to do. give the committee, give me, give the ranking member as many tools and as much flexibility as you can so that we may prevail from the house's point of view in accomplishing common policy with the senate that meets not only the goals of this chamber
but the needs of this country. with that, mr. speaker, i respectfully ask for a no vote and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma yields back the remainder of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. ryan: i yield myself as much time as i consume. i want to thank the chairman of the agriculture committee for a very civil debate. he and i have talked about so many of these issues. we've worked so well together and he has done the work on moving these bills to the floor. on this particular issue we don't agree. he may not think that i'm helping, but i think i'm helping by passing this. the reason is, this past -- this passed 59-33 in the senate. if we pass it here, that just takes off of the table one contingency issue that they don't have to negotiate in conference, making it easier to focus on other things that you have yet to reconcile in congress. we're trying to help the ag committee out here.
but in a very serious note, i want to talk about a few of the criticisms. pooling. one of my friends from north dakota mentioned, it's important to have crop insurance with these people with very, very high adjusted gross incomes in the pool to make it cash flow. that's an argument that works with health insurance. healthy people subsidize sick people but that's really not an argument that i think flows with this kind of insurance. point number two, no one's saying that a person who has high net worth, who has a high adjusted gross income, can't get crop insurance. all we're saying is, just don't subsidize them as much as everybody else. that's really not asking a lot. what we're saying is, if you're a farmer and you make $750,000 of adjusted gross income or higher, you don't get subsidized by the taxpayer for your crop insurance as much as everybody
else. your subsidy is 15% lower than the people who make less than $750,000. you still get crop insurance, you can still buy it. you'll still get a subsidy. just not as much as everybody else. look, if you buy insurance on 50% of your acres, instead of the government paying for 67% of that insurance, it will pay for 52% of your insurance. if you buy insurance to cover 65% of your acres, instead of the government paying 59% of the cost, it will pay 44% of the cost. if you buy insurance on 85% of your acres, instead of the government subsidizing 38% of the cost that have coverage, it will subsidize 23% of the cost of that coverage. so there's still a subsidy. look, you're not penalizing or punishing success if -- by not
subsidizing people as much. if we were having a tax debate, talking about raising taxes, then you're penalizing success. if we're talking about taxing and taking money from producers, from successful people, from businesses making any amount of money, then you're penalizing success. what we're saying is, just don't subsidize people as much. because this subsidy is taking money from hardworking taxpayers , from their taxes, to give to somebody else. and what we're saying is, let's not take money from hardworking taxpayers to give as much to farmers who are making more than $750,000. we just don't want to subsidize them as much. that's not punishing success. the other point is, this is one of those rare moments where i think there's bipartisan agreement. that a farm bill really ought to be for family farmers. the purpose of the farm program is to make sure that individual
families can stay farming. and that means that safety net needs to be there for that family farmer. i know in wisconsin our farmers, most of them don't make $750,000. so it probably doesn't affect many of the corn and bean or dairy farmers that i represent. and maybe in north dakota and other states there are people with thousands of acres that make that kind of money. i think that's great. i think that's wonderful. but i still think that our taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize them as much as the family farmer. and so this is one of those opportunities i think congress can speak with a bipartisan voice. i really believe if the amendments, the hanna pingree amendment, or the blumenauer-mulvaney amendment, had them been made in order, they probably would have passed. so this is our chance here in the house to speak with one voice on a bipartisan basis. let's not subsidize folks at the high end as much. let's protect that family farmer
and let's agree with the senate and take this issue off the table as one of those contingency issues because we're agreeing that we ought to have a farm program for the family farmer and somewhere limit these subsidies. that's all we're asking for. with that i ask for passage and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all the time for debate having been yielded back, pursuant to the house resolution, 380, the previous question is ordered on the resolution. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. he ayes have it. the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
the chair lays before the house he following personal request. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. crenshaw of florida for today and tomorrow and mr. culberson of texas for today after 11:30 a.m. and for tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. the chair will now entertain one-minute requests. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, more democrat leaders are finding their voices encouraged to speak out against the continued shutdown of government services by senate majority reid. this was evidenced wednesday as district of columbia mayor vincent gray crashed a senate democrat press conference near the capitol. mayor gray took the opportunity to ask a simple, logical question of the senate. would the senate vote on the house-passed measure to permit the district of columbia to utilize tax revenues it collects to fund municipal services during this shutdown. this measure, h.j.res. 71, passed the house more than a week ago with support from washington delegate eleanor holmes norton and other democrats in the house. this targeted appropriations bill, like the many others in the house, has passed with bipartisan support, today it still languishing in the senate. when the mayor approached senator reid to discuss funding for the district of columbia, the senate majority leader replied, i'm on your side, ok? don't screw it up.
mr. speaker, i'm not sure whose side the senate majority leader's on, but it has not been the american people. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. are there further one-minute asks -- requests? under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. gohmert: at this time i'd like to yield to my friend from florida for such time as he may consume. mr. desantis: i thank the gentleman from texas for that. mr. speaker, i want to say a few words about accountability. normally the way it works is congress can consider a piece of legislation, maybe a pass -- maybe it passes, maybe the president signs it, you implement it and the voters can decide whether they like it, whether it lived up to its billing, so to speak. well, with obamacare, it was
interesting because this was rammed through congress at the beginning of 2010 and yet it's just now really being implemented. so i'm starting to get a lot of people in my district contacting my office who are really shocked at some of the stiff premium increases that they're seeing. and so i think it's useful just to review some of the promises that were made and whether any of those promises have been kept and i think what you'll find is this is a law not only that the public opposed, not only that was rammed through with no bipartisan support, but it's a law that in many ways is resting on false pretenses. so promise one, the president made this, we'll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year. i am not seeing that true in anyplace. and in fact people are seeing $2,500 increases. that was family in california it was reported who saw an increase of $10,000. so i think right here, as this
is being implemented, we know that that is just not going to be the case. promise number two, the president said this, if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. if you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period. we know that's not true. e see spouses losing spousal coverage. we see employees with major employers losing their employer-provided insurance system of the idea that if you like your plan you can keep it is absolutely not proving to be true for thousands of people throughout the country. and this is just beginning. people who have looked at this from the congressional budget office to other groups say you can have from seven million to 30 million americans who actually lose their employer plans because of obamacare. and of course if you're losing your plan and you're getting pushed into an exchange you may
not be able to keep your doctor because the doctor may not be in the network, may not be available based on the plan you're having to take was because you lost your original plan. promise number three. s the president, under my plan no family making less than $250,000 will see any form of tax increase. we know the individual mandate he said wasn't a tax but when it got challenged in the supreme court, his administration was saying, uphold it because it is a tax and that's eventually what the court did, saying tos a tax. that's a tax that hits blue collar, salt of the earth people, forcing them to buy a product that essentially they may not even be physically table obtain because the websites don't work, and if not, thear going to tax you. that certainly hasn't been true. but there are a bunch of other things in the law that hit
middle income and lower income people. there's a cap on flexible spending accounts. it's actually harder under obamacare to deduct medical expenses from your income taxes. even a tax on indoor tanning salons. i think there's a lot of people making less than $250,000 a year doning the tanning salons and there are a whole bunch of other taxes, over $1 trillion, that may not be directly levied on somebody making less than $250,000 but the cost will end up being passed on. for example, the employer mandate, the tax on health insurance plans, the medical device tax, those taxes are on companies but those costs are going to get pushed to individuals. and they're fwoning to have to bear the cost of that and oh, by the way, certain god health care plans that a lot of union members have who are not making $250,000 a year, those are considered cadillac plans and will be taxed extra going forward. finally the president said, i
will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every american. people on the other side of the aisle will say, why don't you republicans want everybody to be covered? the most recent analysis said that 10 years from nowing after 13 years of obamacare being the law, you will still have in this country 31 million americans that don't have any insurance. and of course we know obamacare is losing -- causing people to lose the coverage they have. this is not a universal health care bill by any stretch of the imagination. there's going to be a lot of people who won't have any insurance. the point i wanted to make with this is there's got to be accountability in government. people want a redress of their grievances. these issues were not necessarily teed up in the election, so now people are coming to terms with what's happened. so the point i would just make
is, at a minimum, when you're dealing with the broken promises of obamacare, we've got to communicate to the public that this has got to be based on some semblance of fairness. for example, the members of congress who wrote this law must live under the exact terms of the statute. they should not be granted any extralegal relief from the burdens of obamacare. the fact that businesses have had the law delayed for them an of course members of congress have gotten a special treatment as well, i think individual americans have got to be given the same deal. it's just wrong to have the i.r. is tax people to buy something from websites that aren't functional and buying products they may not like. accountability is key. this is a law that was passed, there were specific promises made over and over again and what we're finding now unfortunately is those promises are not being kept.
so i thank the gentleman from texas for yielding me time. mr. speaker, i will yield back to the gentleman from texas. mr. gohmert: i appreciate so much my friend from florida, i'm always greatly appreciative and thrilled when i find somebody who attended an ivy league school that got a good education. so the points are well made by my friend from florida. there were many promises made and promises not kept. go from top to bottom. if you like your insurance you can keep it. not remotely true. if you like your doctor, you can keep them. not remotely true. so many stories are coming forward. it's actually going to be cheaper for americans ournedba ma cair. not remotely true. unless perhaps you're in new
york, there's a small part of the country, small group of individuals, who are already paying so much because of massive amount of waste or laws that allowed for great amount of waste or abuse and those, there may be some people that actually save money. but for most americans, they're not only fwoning to have to pay more, they're fwoning to pay matically more. and as we've seen the government shutdown play out, it's been interesting to note the things that have been opened and the hings that have been closed. we were told that only essential government services would be provided. we had also passed immediately before the shutdown and sent to
the senate a military pay bill. now in that military pay, it was intentionally left broad enough o that it could take care of the need to take care of the death benefit, broad enough to take care of the needs of the family that are always provided by the mill tear, by the department of defense, for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in losing a loved one. in the course of combat. and lo and behold, even though that was made clear, it also was ade clear in the bill that civilian employees could be included, even endependent contractors, under that law, were allowed to continue working
that were supporting the role of the mill tear. so it was a very broadly worded act in order to give the obama administration and particularly the defense department great latitude to make sure important things got done. the w as we've seen, secretary of defense has laid off hundreds of thousands of civilian workers, though the bill gave him latitude to leave them working, and they supported the mill tear. and it was only after about a week that he finally said, ok, we'll let a whole lot of those employees come back now that we have made the determination that the bill gives us enough latitude to allow them to work. we told them it did. the bill gave him that kind of power. perhaps he had talked to president obama and they decided
, yeah, let's put lots of people out of work or perhaps he had not talked to the president, we don't know. but as peggy noonan pointed out here recently, talking about things that have gone on here in the last couple of weeks, reminded us of harry truman's seen that was on his desk, the buck stops here. they didn't have to hurt all those civilian employees, they could have left them working. but they chose to send them home, creating more hardship, they chose not to pay the death benefit for families who were entitled to it after losing a loved one who was a pay pais trot. they chose to do those things. they've chosen to close parks,
rms, different things that don't cost the federal government a dime, don't cost anything, but they have strategically chose ton close things that create suffering, some chaos, different problems for people, it's as if the park nger who was quoted recently were exactly right in saying that they were told, make life as difficult as possible for people. because that's what the administration has done. but there is good news. this story was published by fox news. national parks are closed, the i.r.s. call centers have no taff, insert parenthetically here, the i.r.s. is still
getting your money in, the money is still flowing in, they're just not helping people as it flows in. the article says, countless government websites have been taken down. we know even the panda camera was turned off, even though it required no monitoring. yet despite the changes, which range from inconveniences to ajor headaches a number of not so essential government operations are still up and running. here are a few that esthrade partial government shutdown. the degnaw lee commission. you've probably never heard of the degnaw lee commission. -- the denali commission. but the tiny, alaska-based economic development agency gained some notoriety after it emerged the group's inspector general was petitioning congress to defund it. but guess what agency survived
the shutdown. according to its own contingency plan because the commegs staffers are paid under this eprior year's budget, all 14 employees are exempt from urlough and reporting to work. that's a commission that its own inspector general petitioned congress to defund. another government function that was left up, the white house twitter. oh, sure, there were plenty of government help website that would have made life easier for people having to deal with the federal government, they were shut down buzz they would have helped people. but the white house twitter was left up and rolling as the article says, right as congress missed the deadline last week to pass a spending bill, first lady michelle obama's office informed etc. twitter followers that,
quote, due to congress' failure to pass legislation to fund the government, unquote, updates to the official first lady twitter account would be limited. but the white house twitter account is alive and well. the account has blasted out a series of tweets calling on congress to end the budget impasse. another item that has been left up and running despite all of the government websites and help call centers and all have been letsmove. and that's the article says, while a number of government websites have been temporarily taken offline and the first lady's twitter account has been largely abandoned, not so for michelle obama's letsmove campaign. the website for the first lady's healthy living initiative remains operational though it
doesn't appear to have been updated much since september. -- top of the display displays the message, cheers to water. another thing left up, the park rangers on patrol. despite national parks and monuments being shuttered across the country for lack of funds, the national park service is devoting considerable resources to putting up barricades and patrolling them. an inkeeper along the blue ridge parkway who was forced to close his business due to partial shutdown told foxnews.com that park rangers have set up a 24-7 blockade outside his inn to prevent would-be customers from coming in. another thing. the obama campaign stop.
pothba ma canceled a long-planned trip to asia over the budget impasse but nevertheless ventured outside the beltway last week for a rally in nearby rockville, maryland, to pressure republicans to pass a budget bill. the article says budget bill but actually we're past the budget time, now it's premise time and that's what we need -- now it's appropriation time and that's what we need. but the patent office. thoop envent something in the budget stalemate? good news, the united states patent and trademark office is open for business. according to the office it's using fees from the prior year to keep running and should be able to for roughly four weeks. the i.r.s. is taking but not giving. i.r.s. call centers are closed, the i.r.s. is not issuing refunds in the partial shutdown, the agency, though, will gladly
-- gladly accept tax payments in that time. the i.r.s. says in a statement on etc. website, the i.r.s. well accept and process all tax returns with payments but will be unable to issue repounds during this time. another article from the right scoop that indicated, it talked about the amber alert website being taken down, though some have been kept up. the amber alert website was allowed to go down and thankfully the administration realized there was enough heaven's sake, it's for children that are kidnapped. lost. so thankfully the administration finally decided, after enough pressure, to bring the amber alert website back up.
but it's been amazing to me, and i saw it again today at some of ur memorial sites, memorials that are down the mall, iwo jima monument, the memorial. we have spent, this administration, that is, has pent more money keeping people out of open-air memorials than it ever spends just to leave them open. they're open 24/7. i've been up to the iwo jima, the u.s. marine corps monument so many times since i've been in congress. again, all hours of the day and night, don't sleep that much while i'm here on the hill. and although park rangers, we
have some that don't know the parker laws and give tickets to people that are lawfully allowed to be there, apparently not enough training for our park rangers, but they have gone to the trouble to get barriers and barricades, to make life difficult for veterans. rld war ii veterans that fought to secure iwo jima being kept out of seeing the iwo jima monument. why? because they put barricades in the way to keep people from going up, being able to drive up there. one of the times i went up there the last couple of weeks, there were probably 200 people out there, but they had to park up by the town houses, go over rails go down steep embankments and then get in there. unfortunately, as this administration knows, our world war ii veterans, in their 80's
and 90's, that i have been with, that i have helped around, that i have pushed wheelchairs for, they're not able to climb over rails and go down steep embankments. they sure did in the pacific, when they were fighting. but they can't do it now. and for anyone to keep putting up the barricades at that iwo jima monument, just to screw over our veterans, is outrageous. i don't know who's doing, it but shame on the people that are doing it. i was gratified last weekend. on one occasion i went up there and there were the plastic barricades that had been filled with water to hold them in place, make them too big for a
and yet push over there were three buslolds of world war ii vet -- busloads of world war ii veterans up at the iwo jima monument. and someone had rammed those plastic barriers, knocking them over, spilling the water verywhere, then once water was dispersed, pushed them out of the way. a wooden barricade there, looked like it had been run over. so that the buses could go up there. and i don't know if those buses did that or not. i'd like to think they did. that those world war ii veterans were not going to have some mean-spirited person in the administration up there to prevent them from seeing the iwo jima monument for one time before they left this world.
mr. speaker, i hope the people keepis administration that trying to punish the american get the that they can , ney that they're demanding that s&p and moody's has said, you guys have goth to get responsible about the money -- you guys have got to get responsible about the money that you're spending. the money that the american taxpayers gave the republicans the majority in 2010 to do something about. my friends across the aisle are constantly saying the elections have consequences. that's right. the american people didn't like obamacare, and so they voted the democrats in the house out of the majority, with people running on that main issue. we'll do everything we can to get rid of obamacare.
it is true that the president won re-election. many of us still believe that if we had had a candidate that could challenge the abuses of obamacare before the last election last year, instead of one that gave a prototype for it in his home state, the president would not have been re-elected. but republicans chose a very nice man, philanthropic man, great businessman, very caring american, but somebody had already shown -- but somebody who had already shown he supported the type of socialized edicine in his home state. bamacare, as it was passed, as it was originating in the senate , and then passed in the senate, , as bill to the house
h.r. 3590, should have originated in this house because it raises revenue. call penalties. call penalties throughout the bill. the supreme court noted that. in virginia hypocritical opinion , the supreme court went to page 15 and noted that congress called it a penalty, it only is applied if people don't do what's required, that makes it a penalty, clearly it's a penalty. because the any injunction act makes very clear that if no ess passes a tax, then federal court can take it up and make a decision on it until the tax is actually imposed and the person suing has standing by
virtue of having the tax actually imposed on them. that's a nutshell. so if the supreme court had found that obamacare contained a tax and not a penalty, then it would not have jurisdiction. but the supreme court opinion of page 15 decided it is a penalty, it's not a tax, if it was a tax we couldn't go any further in the opinion, the opinion would be over, we'd have to dismiss and wait for the tax to actually be assessed. but since it is a penalty, like congress called it through the bill, and since it is a penalty, as president obama made very clear to the american public, it is not a tax, it is a penalty, the supreme court went on. and eventually after determining hat obamacare, as written, based on what the proponents
said was the inner state commerce clause that gave it the authority to pass obamacare, the supreme court said, no it doesn't. the interstate commerce clause does not give authority to congress to pass a bill that takes over health care. that's not constitutional. then eventually they got over exactly up the issue of what was involved in the individual mandate, the businessman date. and the court concluded that actually, despite congress calling it a penalty, the president assuring america it was a penalty and not a tax, the supreme court ends up saying it's a tax and therefore it is constitutional. so we as the supreme court will
rewrite the law and uphold it as we have rewritten. because as it's written, it's not constitutional. but we'll rewrite it. though that would be legislating, it would be unconstitutional. they did it anyway. so when i hear people say, hey, it's been upheld by the supreme court, no, the bill that was passed was not upheld by the supreme court. it was struck down as violating the interstate commerce clause. but the supreme court did them a favor, rewrote it legislatively, violated the constitution in doing so, and then sent it back. and now american as i cross the country -- americans across the country, by the millions, are suffering as a result of a tax the majority of americans did not want, that all the americans were promised was not a tax, and now it's taking away their insurance, it's taking away
heir doctors, it's taking away really quality health care that most americans had. so it would seem that if the idea behind obamacare was strictly to help those who are uninsured, we should have dealt strictly with those americans. but that is not what obamacare was about. it was about the g.r.e., the government running everything. i'm amazed at how many friends across the aisle, who have screamed and hollered about, we don't want the government in our bedroom, voted for a bill that puts the government in your bedroom, in your bathroom, in your kitchen, in your closets. it puts the federal government
everywhere. with what ine that e all-democrat house and senate majority passed with president obama at the helm, that created a bureau under the guise of making sure that credit card companies were fair and now that bureau is gathering everyone's credit card information and debit card information under the guise of making sure they're playing fair. this federal government has seized more private information, they have been more vindictive through weaponizing the i.r.s., and we're finding out about other agencies and departments. it's more than any administration has ever done. and the american people will ultimately pay the price. and i hope and pray that the
supreme court will take up the origination clause litigation, because that bill did not originate in the house and the origination clause says any bill that raises revenue must originate in the house. the only single thing in that bill that was left was the number. even the title, about being a change, the internal revenue code, to provide a tax credit for first-time homebuyers who were in the military. or veterans. they didn't leave a single word of that bill. and they brought in something completely ungermane to that bill for veterans and military of taking instead
care of the millions they said were uninsured, that was the whole purpose of obamacare, they have done tremendous damage across the country to so very many. so, as the shutdown has gone on, that was brought on not by the house republicans, who passed a bill, we said, look, americans are being devastated by obamacare. the health care industry is being decimated. so, since a majority of the american people didn't want it, gave us control of the house as a result of it, let's get rid of it. . we've got to start acting responsibly about the money we spend and taking away americans' rights to decide whether they should have knee surgery, back
surgery, get a pacemaker, taking away the right and the ability of americans to determine what kind of treatment they should get is not something, when we're in financial difficulty, that we should be doing. that was struck down. shouldn't have been surprised, harry reid didn't want to pass it, the president didn't want to, so then the house began sending down one compromise that was turned down, ok, you know, let's just suspend it for a year. that would be the fair thing to do. sooze many have said, republicans and democrats across the country, it was not ready for prime time. it was a train wreck. it was a nightmare. let's just suspend it for a year. we know the president wants it, so we're not talking about
getting rid of it like we think -- like a majority of americans want to do. let's just suspend it for a year. when that didn't go and the senate said no, we want a shut down, we're not doing this, then we sent down a further ompromise and since it only, basically, the biggest part of suspended the one-year -- suspended for one year the individual mandate just as businesses had gotten, as the president rewrote the law, the constitution doesn't allow him to do it, congress is supposed to step up and in past generations, i'm told, no matter whether democrat or republican president, no matter who controlled the house and senate, when a president overstepped his
constitutional authority this far, usually there would be a trip down pennsylvania from leaders of the house and senate, both parties, they would privately tell the president you overstepped your bounds, back off, or we're going to defund everything that you're trying to push through on this. and it would get worked out. unfortunately, the other end of the hall in the senate, they're not boston ert by the fact that the president -- boston, -- they're not bothered by the fact that the president by the stroke of a pen wrote legislation and undid what the law said and made up his own law. it's not supposed to happen under our constitution, but it did. and we were bothered in the house so we said, look, let's work this out.
like gentle people. let's just postpone it for a year. that didn't work, let's at least suspend the individual mandate. you've suspended it for the business community, let's do it for individuals. they wouldn't even do that. and then when that didn't work, we sent a bill to the senate that said, ok, we're not trying to push anything on you, just sit down and talk, here's our negotiators. you appoint your negotiators, that's what the constitution, law, and rules require, we'll get this worked out, have it worked out by the time -- probably by the time people get up in the morning and they would not even appoint negotiators. why? because, i believe they believed the conventional wisdom from the last three years, that the
mainstream media, if the democratic senate and president forced a shutdown, the mainstream media would blame republicans, it would be politically to their benefit and it would be worth causing the maybe of a shutdown system of they refused even to negotiate at that point. it was not until the polls showed the president had dropped to 37%, favorable rating, 53% unfavorable rating, that we finally had a willingness to sit down and talk. during those times that so many things have been shut down, including the normandy cemetery, his story emerged yesterday, from markets cans -- from marketplace.org. coming soon to your favorite tv
shows, plotlines about the affordable care act. hollywood health and society, a ogram with the u.s.c.-annenberg-norman lear center got a $500,000 grant this week from the california endowment to help tv writers tell better stories about the new health care insurance law. $500,000. to hollywood. for propaganda to tell people who are suffering from the ravages of losing their insurance, losing their doctors, losing the ability to make decisions under new policies as they once did, telling them how good they had it.
tot $500,000 would have paid open a lot of memorials and parks, would have kept the moore farm going for years. that doesn't get a dime of federal money and hasn't since 1980 but may lose the farm because of the outrageous actions of the national park service in forcing it closed. as the park ranger said, making it as difficult as they can for people. in an article from ken blackwell, when president obama signed the patient protection and affordable care act on march 23, 2010, it was starting, the starting gun for a massive federal effort to get the new system up and running. the administration had deliberately allowed for 3 1/2
years for the launch, until october 1, 2013. that's a long time. it's 1,288 days. you would think in that time we could have bought -- brought a system online that would not be bedeviled with glitches and more glitches. by comparison, f.d.r. had 912 days from the japanese attack on parole harbor, december 7 -- on untilharboring december 7 d-day. anyway, it says further down, today obama administration officials are making the rounds of tv talk shows touting the millions of americans who have logged on day one of obamacare,
they're not able to tell us how many of those millions have actually signed up for oba ha cair but that, of course, may be due to the fact that 85% of americans already have health insurance and the rest primarily, healthy young adults, may have reasons for not having health insurance. it's interesting to hear administration spokespersons dodging and weaving about how many americans actually are eager to give all their personal and be guidedr.s. by navigators chosen by mr. obama out of his compassionate concern for the people osmba ma cares was an inspired idea for a bumper sticker last fall. it helped the incouple bnt easily gain a second term in the white house. it's odd that after four years of major liberal legislation, the f.d.r. comparisons have largely disappeared.
americans today can judge how warm hearthed president obama is -- warm hearted president obama is, his administrationed or therd eclosure of the world war ii memorial in washington, honor flights faced barricades as they made a last trip tripp to see the monument to their heroism on d-day and a thousand days. jay cor carney raced to tell reportest it was not the intent of the obama administration to deny death benefits to families of soldiers killed in afghanistan, it was just another glitch. the efforts to avoid responsible were strenuous but he might have consulted another veteran of that great world war ii generation, harry truman kept a black on his desk in the white house that said, the buck stops
here. that's the article i was thinking of earlier. here's another article, october 10, from new avery, connecticut. in the midst of major cheage this is health care, united health care has sent thousands of pink slips to doctors. they went to physicians caring fored me many -- for medicare patients. they went to doctors caring for medicare advantage patients, it's a plan marketed to seen yos to provide adegreesal services through united health care. a mention of primary care and specialty doctors are affected and it comes a questionable time. open enrollment for medicare starts next tuesday and is still not clear at this time as to which doctors are still in the united net without objection. the connecticut state medical society is fighting back. the biggest concern is patient access to health care. what the goth is looking for is to manage better care by adding a patient-centered medical home so that you have a doctor who is
totally invested with taking care of every aspect of the patient and coordinating it. this is clerly not a patient-centered decision, said doctor michael saffer, president of c.t. state medical society, perhaps that's connecticut medical society. at the it has an update bottom, in an email statement, united health care's ben goldstein told us with the many changes happening in health care, we are building a network of health care providers that we can collaborate with more closely to have the most positive empact on the quality of care for our members. and what a lot of people didn't realize but soon found out or ba ma cair, the so-called affordable care act, actually cut over $700 billion in
medicare reimbursements, it took money that was going to be used for senior citizens' health care and put it to try to get this unworkable bill , across to the american people. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 15 minutes left. mr. gohmert: an article from wnd radio. sticker shock. americans floored by obamacare costs. published october 10. technical problems with the obamacare insurance exchanges are no surprise. further evidence that the whole program should be ede-leaed or scrapped an americans will be more horrified when they can get
somewhere on the websiting according to health care policy expert grace marie turner. the first 10 days of the obamacare insurance exchanges have been a technological and public relations mess for the administration. many americans have suffered through hours of stalled or crashed websites, no reporter has been able to 1/2 gate the site and many people have entered personal information that online security experts believe could make them targets for identity theft. when wnd spent hours online and on the phone trying to get a cost estimate for an obamacare plan it was told to expect a quote by january 1. as wnd reported, anecdotal evidence on the government's own health care facebook page suggests both problems are significant factors. few users seem confused but the overwhelming number of comments were critical and many of those were scathing, complaints about
the application process had three recurring themes. long waits, glitches, sticker shock. there was also much ridicule of the site's inability to handle tremendous demand. information technology experts told "the wall street journal" the website, quote, appeared to be built on a sloppy software oundation, unquote. another article, published yesterday, i'm not sure i like the title, pulling out hair over obamacare website nightmare. sometimes people look ok with their hair out. sometimes they don't. the article says, forget for a minute all those arguments about the new health care law's death panels. e fourth cancellation of existing coverage, the violation of religious liberty and the transportation of full-time jobs
into part-time work, even people who want to sign up for obamacare finding it impossible. digital trenleds reports healthcare.gov website already has shut down, crapped out, stalled, miss loaded so consistently -- misloaded so consistently that its track record for failure is challenged only by congress. that's even though taxpayers paid more than $634 million for the digital equivalent of a rock , the report said. the site itself which apparently underwent major code revelations over the weekend, still rejects ser log-ins, fails to dropdown menus, and otherwise prevents uninsured americans in the 36 states it serves from purchasing health care at competitive rates. healthcare.gov's primary purpose, the report said. it goes on to talk about the massive nightmares of people
that are trying to sign on to it. and i see my good friend from oklahoma is standing here and i would yield to my friend for such time as he may consume. >> thank you for yielding to me. i ask for unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> i yield back. mr. gohmert: thank you. here's an article from peggy noonan from the "wall street journal." now is the time to delay obamacare. the obama administration has an implementation problem. more than any administration in modern error, they know how to talk but have trouble doing. they give speeches about obamacare, but when it's unveiled, what the public sees a village designed by the noted architect rube goldberg.
they talk about the case for the action in syria but can't build support in the u.s. foreign policy community, in congress and among the public. recovery summer is always next summer. they're double implementing which of course is the most boring but crucial part of governing. it's not enough to talk, you must perform. there's an odd sense with members of this administration that they think words are actions. maybe that's why they tweet so much. maybe they imagine assad seeing their tweets and musing, ah, upset, so i shall change my entire policy in respect to her motions. that gets us to the real story of last week. this week and the future. the one beyond the shutdown, the one that normal people are both fully aware of and fully understand and that is the utter and catastrophic debut of obamacare. even for those who expected problems, and that would be everyone who follows government, it has been a shock.
they had 3 1/2 years to set it up. they knew exactly when it would be unveiled, on october 1, 2013. on that date, they knew millions could be expected to go online and see if they benefit. and it goes on, it's an excellent article, she says, a quick summary of what didn't work. those who went on federal and state exchanges reported malfunctions during log-in. error messages, inability to create new accounts, frozen screens, confusing instructions, endless wait times, helplines that put people on hold and then cut them off, lost passwords and user names. after the administration floated the fiction that the problems were due to heavy usage, the general trackdown insurance and technology experts who said the real problems were inadequate coding and flaws in the architecture of the system. the founder of mcafee slammed the system's lack of security on
foxes by network, calling it -- fox business network calling it a hacker's happiest nocturnal fantasy. he predicted millions of identity thefts, health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius grilled surprisingly on "the daily show" sounded like -- and that's unkind, but she failed to justify why in the middle of the chaos individuals cannot be granted a one-year delay, just as businesses have been. more ominously, many of those who got in the system complained of sticker shock. high premiums, high deductibles. she goes on to say, talking about republicans, they would make a mistake in dropping obamacare as an issue. a few weeks ago they mistakenly demanded defunding, moved to please the base. they will be attempted to abandon even the word obamacare now but this is exactly when they should keep, as the center
of their message and their intent, not defunding obamacare, but delaying it. do they really want to turn abrupt focus to illusive medicare cuts just when it is has become obvious to the american people that parts of obamacare, like the ability to enroll, are unworkable? the republicans should press harder than ever to delay obamacare, kick it back, allow the administration at least to create a functioning website and mprove what can be improved. from's an article from cnn today that utah's national parks will reopen despite ongoing government shutdown. utah will reopen its five national parks by saturday as well as three others nationally, run by locations. utah's governor made the announcement thursday saying a deal had been reached with u.s. department of interior secretary sali jewel. quote, utah grease to pay the
national park -- greiss to pay the -- agrees to pay the national park service money per day to reopen eight national sites in utah for up to 10 days. sad thing is, they don't have to do that. we passed a bill to keep them all going. we did it at a rate, at an amount the senate already agrees to. all they got to do is pass it, send it to the president, and it will be taken care of. an article here from measure caddyinga center, george mason university, some research summary. before i mention that, i want to mention something about one of our senators, a senator from arizona, some people decided to take things i said in an inappropriate way. i know that senator from arizona .
we owe him a great deal for what he endured on our behalf in north vietnam. there's no question about it. and i know that senator would never intentionally hurt this country. but he's made mistakes that have hurt it. but certainly never intentionally. summary.ntion this says the debt limit debate, 2013, addressing -- mr. speaker, i think it's very important that people understand that there are a lot of myths about the debt limit. one myth is standard & poors u.s. credit rating downgrade in august, 2011, was caused by washington's bringsmanship over increasing the debt limit. congress must therefore avoid
attaching any spending cut demands to the current debt limit increase if they want to avoid jeopardizing the nation's fragile economy. the reality it, it says, washington's failure to deal with unsustainable federal spending mostly related to entitlement programs and debt caused the 2011 s&p downgrade and is spurring warnings of another downgrade by the credit rating agency. of course this administration went after them through the judiciary system, after they got a bad rating, got a downgrade, but they point out that in june of 2011, that s&p reported if the u.s. government maintains its current policies, it is unlikely that standard & poors rating services would maintain its a.a.a. rating on the u.s. government. from the same report, quote, one contributing factor in our
negative outlook decision is our view that there has, as yet, been no significant progress in addressing these long-term cost drivers, nor any consensus developinged -- developing among the obama administration. the house of representatives, regarding specifics, have a comprehensive plan to address the long-term budgetary challenges. in july, july 14, it pointed out that if congress and the administration have not achieved a credible solution to the rising u.s. government debt burden, they're not likely to achieve one in the foreseeable future. so, the downgrade was because we did not adequately address the massive debt that had been building up. another myth, and there's plenty more to back up their contention about that, just facts, had congress and the administration
failed to raise the debt limit by the treasury stated deadline in 2011, the treasury would have been forced to default on the nation's debt. the reality had the 2011 agreement to increase the debt limit been postponed, the treasury could have met federal government obligations, including social security benefits and interest on the debt until the end of the fiscal year, possibly longer. and then it goes into the options that the treasury department had. another myth, if washington agreed to significant spending reforms and cuts, then actually followed through on them, it would cripple the recovery and devastate the economy. the reality is that the most dangerous thing washington can do is continue on its current course. the economic literature is clear. chronic overspending and its
result, chronic excessive debt, lead to economic harm. washington must agree on meaningful spending reforms and begin implementing these policies immediately to satisfy markets about the credibility of the spending cuts. myth number four, the real problem with the last debt limit bill was that it failed to apply a, quote, balanced approach, unquote, of spending cuts and tax increases. the reality is replacing borrowing with higher taxes does not solve the fundamental problem. federal spending, including social security, medicaid and especially medicare, sun sustainable. fiscal reform that focuses on large revenue increases and modest spending reductions is likely to inflict the most damage on the economy. a study of 21 countries looking at 37 years of data representing 107 episodes of fiscal reform
shows that reform efforts that focus on a package of low spending and revenue reductions, that's tax decreases, tend to be much more effective than those that have modest spending reductions but continue to increase revenue. also, more than 100 attempts to reduce the debt to g.d.p. ratio in all developed countries over the past 30 years, some 20% succeeded. they had two common components. a focus on spending cuts and policy reforms that increase competitive. and that is the truth. and with that i will yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman's time has expired. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from california, mr. swalwell, is recognized for a period of 60 minutes as the
designee of the minority leader. mr. swalwell: mr. speaker, before i begin, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the subject of this special order. the federal government shutdown and its impact on our department of energy national laboratories. i also know that science committee ranking member johnson intends to include remarks in the congressional record and i want to thank her for her support of national laboratory employees. the speaker pro tempore: without bjection, so ordered. mr. swalwell: mr. speaker, i came to congress knowing that in
the policies i help and work to enact and the legislative agenda i would work on that i could either help people or hurt people. and the decision for me was quite easy, mr. speaker. i came to congress to help people. i came to congress to think big. i was very excited when i was told prior to being sworn in that i was going to be serving on the science committee. i was even more thrilled when i learned that i would have the opportunity to serve as the lead democrat on the energy subcommittee knowing that the energy subcommittee would have partial jurisdiction over two national laboratories which are in my congressional district in livermore, california, lawrence livermore national laboratory and sandia national laboratory. these two national laboratories, about 1,600 at livermore and
500 at sandia work every day to maintain our nuclear stockpile and provide security for the united states. prior to being elected to congress i had the opportunity multiple times as a city councilmember to visit these national laboratories, and since being elected to congress i've ad a chance to visit the laboratories and interact with their officials here in washington. what i've learned about these employees at these laboratories is they care deeply about our country but they also kear very deeply about the science and the research they work on every tai in a laboratory environment that allows them to do that. so you can imagine how hard it is right now as we are in day 11 of a government shutdown that laboratory employees were told about two days ago that effective next week, they will be furloughed too. as you all know, federal workers across our country, from almost
every agency, have been furloughed or are working with out -- or are working without pay. but in our national laboratories which operate as goco facility, government owned, contractor operated facility, they're not federal workers but they're government contractors, they're scientists. it's estimated that livermore, california, has more ph.d.'s per capita than any other city in the world because of the at ximately 7,500 workers our national laboratories. these employees were told -- and it was the hardest phone calls i had to take in congress, they called and said they had an hour then they were going to have to tell their employees they were being furloughed. and they need me to do everything i can to make sure their workers can continue to do
great things at the national laboratory. i want to look at what's caused the shutdown, the duty behind what caused the shutdown, i look forward tuking about the effects the shutdown is having on people inside and outside of government, employees who are federal workers, people who depend and rely on goth services. people outside government who work as government contractors and with the particular focus on what's happening at our national laboratories. i also want to offer what i see as a way forward and a way we can get out of this government shutdown a way to get the federal work forest working again, a way that we can make sure our laboratory experts, our scientists, are able to go back to work and do great things to keep us safe and secure and move the ball forward on energy policies. i also want to tell all laboratory employees that today we submitted to sec re-- to the secretary, members of congress delegation fornia
and snoort feinstein, we sent a letter to allow our national laboratory employees, there are about 30,000 of them across the country, to allow the national laboratory employees who have been furloughed to be paid back pay from the time they were furloughed. i'm honored to be joined on that letter by bay area house members zoe lofgren and jerry mcnerney who will join me tonight. i'm tpwhroning to yield in a moment to both of those members and allow them to talk about the lab and the shutdown but congressman mcnerney who represented the valley prior to redistricting in 2010 knows greatly about our national laboratories. he's a ph.d. in congress, a ph.d. in mathematics, he's worked as a wind engineer. nd a champion of our
laboratories, zoe lofgren. she's been a champion for our national laboratories, particularly for livermore and s sk andia, even though they're not in her district, i appreciate her support and know that she and i share a goal a succeedment e will yield do ms. lofgren. ms. lofgren: as my friend and colleague, representative swalwell, pointed out, the government shutdown is causing serious damage to our country. the shutdown is putting americans out of work and hurting the economy. not only the jobs of federal employees but the thousands of small businesses who provide fwoods an services to the government and government employee whors not spending money that they no longer are getting in paychecks. this harm is being felt across the country by millions of people, the closures impact
thousands of people. we know the small business administration is not lending to the tune of $1 billion a month. federal business statistics are not being released, leaving us essentially flying behind when it comes to how the economy is doing, army corps of engineer projects halted, consumer product safety commission not reviewing products to keep us safe. v.a. not being able to decide claims from veterans. we saw the horrifying news earlier this week that death benefits for members of our armed services ander that families who were impacted, meals from seniors not being served, children being thrown out of head start, these are real issues. the economy is being held hostage. but what we want to talk about this evening is not just those
impacts that have been so well covered in the press, but how our economy's future is being held hostage by this government shutdown and by lack of funding for science. you know, we were very proud in the san francisco bay area that we had three noble laureates recognized just this week, stanford's michael levitt, homas sudhof, and u.c. rkley's seen tist, they were funded not through labs through through the national institutes of health. but it's worth noting that this government shutdown is resulting in the furlough of 13,000 researchers, it's blocking hundreds of projects, and the amazing thing to me was that their partner, james rothman of
yale who shared in the noble prize, because of budget cuts and sequester, the research that got him the noble prize was cut, the funding was cut for the research that got him the noble prize because of the sequester. so there's an issue here not just on the shutdown, holding the economy hostage, but also the underlying poor funding. but let's talk a minute about the national labs. you know, a lot of people don't really know what the labs are. those of us who are close to them do, but they were founded in 1943 and they were really meant to address the need to mobilize the nation's scientific assets to support the war effort. and subsequent to that, they were utilized to really bring the smartest people in the country to to -- in the country
together to focus on things to keep us safe and as a matter of fact they helped keep us quite prosperous. out of the labs have come such things as optical digital recording technology, that's behind all music and video data storage. advanced batteries now used in electric cars. super computers that we would as a vote be lost without. so much from the national labs. but one of the things i think is enormously important and unfortunately not received the kind of publicity it should have the national ignition facility at lawrence livermore national lab. at 5:51 a.m. on september 29, there was a leap forward in the fusion experiment under way at the national lab.
that was the late nest a series of carefully designed and incremental experts that have encreased the yield but here's the interesting thing. , the portion of the target the 192 lazers that went into that target, there was more energy coming out than was put into the target. that's never happened before. o this is not the end of the quest for -- to finish that science but it is a major, major step forward and it's something that is actually threatened by this government shutdown. i just received a copy of the notice that is going out to lawrence livermore tomorrow and here's what it says. this is from the management at the lab, to all the scientists, to remind you beginning today, october 11, the lab will begin
shutting down normal operations. only essential functions necessary to ensure safety and security will be ongoing. the lab is shutting down. the employees furloughed. as we are -- we have just gotten the most important step forward on this most important experiment going on in the united states. how can that possibly be good for the united states of america? and of course lawrence livermore is not the only national lab that is adversely impacted. just up the road from my home in santa clara county, we have the stanford lynna accelerator laboratory wither that fabulous coherent light source, it's the world's most powerful x-ray laser and its focused beam, which arrives in staccato bursts a fraction of a second long is
allowing them to see what is going on at a molecular level in realtime. what is happening at the stanford lab? the same cutbacks that are afflicting the lawrence livermore lab. you know, when you look at some of the things that are coming out of these fine science facilities, the wonderful corkscrewing lasers that can be he key to unlimited band width that was recently desised at the stanford lab, the national lab at livermore that's dwooped safe and versatile material known as d.n.a. tagged reagents for eyre sol experts -- experiments, it's going to be a critical tool for protecting the united states. all these things are at risk, and for what? for a stupid, fool herb, partisan fight. we could change this this evening, tomorrow morning, all
we need is to have a bill on the floor to vote to reopen this government, allow these seen tists to continue to move forward, to change the world and to create a brilliant future for our economy and for our safety and security. so i thank my colleague, representative swalwell, who does such an excellent job of representing the two areas, the two labs in his district, as well as all the other constituents who are so proud of him here in his service in the congress and for standing up for them, not just for their jobs but for america's future. i yield back to mr. swalwell. mr. swalwell: thank you to the gentlelady from california, ms. lofgren, who has been a tireless advocate for our national laboratories and is a fighter on the science committee day in, day out, as we wage these
battles and try to think big and challenge our leagues to do everything we can to move the ball forward so we can reach that point where we have clean energy fusion, where we have renewable source that is safe and reliable and does not require us to look across oceans and time zones to provide our country's energy. with that, i would like to yield to the gentleman from california, my colleague, my former congressman, my friend, who today is honoring bow tie friday as well, the gentleman from california, mr. mcnerney. mr. mcnerney: i want to thank my friend and colleague from dublin, california, eric swalwell, for bringing this topic up tonight. i want to thank my friend, zoe lofgren, from san jose for being an advocate and champion of the lab from long before i got here. what i'd like to do tonight is talk about my experience at the lab. when efirst got my ph.d., i won't tell you how long ago that
was, i started working at sandia national laboratories in albuquerque. there was a lot of great things about that experience my colleagues there, there was bill sullivan and don lobitz, they were tireless, they were well educated, they worked hard, they were very inspirational to me as a young ph.d. our boss, his name was dick brash, he went out and delivered us the resources we needed to carry out the research that was ahead of us. using that money, using those tools, using that resource, basically we developed wind energy technology from the very ground up. we were working on vertical access windmills and we understood and worked hard on he err dynamics to -- on the aerodynamics to understand how to best maximize power from wednesday mills so wind turbines could be designed economically
and make money and now we see wind snrge a tremendous success, we see new windmills going up by the thousands, giant wind miles that are two, three, four mega wattses if you drive underneath them they're an incredible sight to see. . i love the experience i hope we continue to provide the resources for young scientists and young engineers who understand and have the passion to go out there and make a difference and discover new technology and develop new energy sources, develop new health technology so that we can move forward. the united states of america is truly the leader in this kind of technology. we lead in health care, we lead in health science. we lead in energy development. we lead in all kinds of senses. our universities are tremendous resources but our laboratories is where the seasoned scientist goes and produce real, real technology that can be
transferred into the public sector. right now if you look in livermoore, which is right outside of my district, there is a technology transfer operation where there's a cooperative organization between the the city of livermoore and the city of davis, berkley national laboratories, berkley university and so on, all these institutions working together with private companies to develop this technology and transfer it into the private sector, to give our businesses and our companies the edge they need to become successful and to lead, to create jobs and lead our nation and one of the things they're doing at livermoore that's so exciting that my colleague talked about was the fusion facility there in livermoore. if you don't know about fusion, fusion is when a fission -- i'll
back up a little bit. fission is when you break apart a uranium or plutonium atom to create energy. it's a source of what you call the atomic bomb, nuclear power, but fusion is the other side of the scale. nuke lee actually fuse together. ea what we are doing or what they're doing in liver moore is actually trying to understand how to contain fusion energy. and there's an unlimited amount of fusion fuel out there. the ocean, its heavy water. the ocean contains heavy water, it contains tridium. it's understanding this basic force of nature and controlling this basic force of nature and ms. lofgren mentioned a few minutes ago what happened in livermoore just this last month, was they were successful in creating more energy in the fusion reaction than was put
into the energy, was put in the reaction. so we see progress being made month by month, year by year. i've been out there to that facility. i've met with the scientists. i've met with the leaders. and i can tell you, they have the same exact environment of just encouraging young scientists to do their best, to make a difference, to understand science. it's very exciting for me to see that. and i would love to see that operation, that type of research continued at our national laboratories. who los alamos laboratory in albuquerque, another fine institution, like other national laboratories. there's several across the nation. they do basic research. they do basic development. and my understanding is that the united states, with the in a silt, have about a five-year lead over other countries, over china, who is desperately trying to catch up with us. when we furlough those scientists, when we stopped that
process, we set back our scientists for not just the amount of time they're laid off, but the infrastructure. when you develop the technology that they have developed, this is several years of lead time, to get the mirrors, to get the ample fires they get for this commitment. when you tell your suppliers, we're not going to be using you for the next few months, those suppliers go away and it takes years, years to develop the new technology, the new infrastructure for these scientists to be able to purchase these items that are right now available, and as we furlough these scientists and shut down that program, those people are going to go away. and maybe they'll find customers in china. i hope no the -- i hope not. so this is very, very critical for our national energy security, for our national security, to keep on top of that and not to let that lapse. now, the labs do very useful things like nuclear arms
reduction. some of the nuclear inspectors are from livermore national laboratories. we have chemical weapons inspectors, i bet some of the inspectors that are getting ready to go to syria right now are from these laboratories. i would bet a bomb dollar on that. cybersecurity, if you're worried about cybersecurity, if you know the threats that we may face in our country with cybersecurity, then you're going to want to know what they do at livermore sandiaories and at aa -- national laboratories. they have some of the top, i don't want to call them hackers, but some of the top folks who really know how to get into computer systems and how to protect them and how to attack if they need to attack. so we have some of the very best people in the world at these laboratories, working on cybersecurity. we want to make sure that we continue to employ those folks and get the best we can out of these folks that have so much passion on this subject. now, zoe lofgren also mentioned
the literary accelerator at stanford. tanford linear accelerator, sl ac. x-rays are incredibly hard to control and devicing an x-ray laser which makes laser beams that are coherent is an unbelievable achievement. and the things they're going to be able to do with that are beyond what we can imagine today. so, keeping those types of operations in progress is absolutely essential. we don't want to be laying these people off. we don't want to be giving them the message that their work is not essential. we don't want to be giving them the idea that, well, maybe i'd be better off in the private sector, maybe i'd be better off making big dollars instead of working on thanges are so important to our national security. so if you watch in the last few months, i've been doing one-minute presentations on science achievements in this country. science achievements that are funded by the national science
foundation and the national institute of health. we've seen things like an equation move forward which explains how gases behave, how they expand and contract. we've seen how statistics is used in neuro science. how differential equations are factored to get new insights into the behavior of nature. these are ideas that are paid for, that are funded through grants from the national science foundation and also the national institute of health. they fund things on cancer, on understanding epidemics, to keep us safe, and if you understand what's happening in the biological world, there's always a threat of a new virus. these folks are understanding that. they're giving us the tools to protect ourselves. and i think it's absolutely essential that we restore
funding to the presequester levels for the national science foundation and the national institutes of health. now, we see our colleagues, well-meaning, i know that, want to reduce the size of government, they want to reduce funding for science on the national science foundation, for the national institutes of health, and they think there's no consequences. well, there are consequences. and the consequences are going to be that we see less science in this country, we see more science in other countries. so, we need to work together to find a solution. yes, we are absolutely willing to negotiate, just don't hold a gun to our head. sorry. don't hold us hostage. don't make this extortion. come to us with reasonable ideas. we will sit down with you any time, anyplace, and if you want to demand that we eliminate the medical device tax, you know, we'll even be willing to talk to that. but after we get the government functioning, after we pay our
obligations. then we can talk about things that we want. like funding for the national science foundation, funding for the national institutes of health. those are the things that we want to see and there's so many other things that have been reduced that -- like food stamps and the w.i.c. program. we want to make sure that our voices are heard and the extortion, the sort of taxes we've seen from the loip and -- leadership and the far right wing do not hold sway. that we can negotiate fairly, we can use the rule of law, we can use the traditions of this tremendous body, the house of representatives, and the united states senate, within the standard practices of bringing laws to committee, bringing bills to the committee, negotiating, adding amendments, and then voting on it and moving those forward to the senate to agree and then the president. that's the regular order. that's the order we want to use. that's the order that has been used in this country and if you
decide that that isn't the way to do it, then we are going to fight you tooth and nail. so i want to thank my colleague again, mr. swalwell, and i see another colleague that represents sandia national laboratories in albuquerque that i used to work and i appreciate that your effort today -- i appreciate your effort tonight and i yield back. mr. swalwell: thank you to the gentleman from california. his passion for our laboratories. for science really shows. and i'm so glad he talked about what the democrats have already done as far as compromising and that's really important here. because i had a town hall last weekend. i went home on the one day we didn't have votes and i went to the city hall chamber in california, the council chamber there. and a number of folks rightfully asked me, well, what are the democrats willing to give up in these negotiations? and i think it's important for folks to know that the democrats have already made concessions. we've made very, very difficult
concessions. the best way to describe those concessions is that ugly terrible word called sequester. sequester, which has been across-the-board cuts which have hurt our national labs with these deep, deep cuts. and so this chart here demonstrates it better than anything i've seen, which is you have the president's budget which was about $1.2 trillion. then you see the 2011 debt limit deal at $1.6 trillion. you see paul ryan's budget at $967 billion. and then across the capitol, the senate passed a budget at $986 billion. so, to get a budget, to keep the government running, you need what i call the holy trinity. you need the senate, the house and the president to all agree on one number. so you have the president who wanted something in the low trillions.
you have the senate that compromised at $986 billion. and now the house has said, we'll take $986 billion and the president has now agreed that he would take $986 billion. but the house, the house has one very, very harsh exception. it will take $986 billion but it started with wanting to repeal the affordable care act. the democrats have compromised. this chart shows that we have made deep and hard concessions during this budget negotiation. the biggest one, as i mentioned, is this mindful across-the-board cut called sequester. now, sequester is not targeted cuts. we're not going after bad programs. rather, we're taking good programs, we're taking bad programs and we're seeing across-the-board cuts. it's indiscriminant. and what has happened at our laboratories, they have programs called ldrd.
laboratory directed research and development. now, in the private sector many companies allow their employees, especially in high-tech and innovation, they allow their employees about 20% time, is what they call it. google calls it 20% time. so one day a week effectively an employee is allowed to work outside their assigned area, er expertise, at on something that they think can move the ball forward in their industry. so 20% time they call it. at the laboratories they call this ldrd. they are given about 8.5%. so over half -- over 50% less cut than what you're seeing in the private sector. 8.5% they're getting at our national laboratories. because of these sequester cuts, that 8.5% has been cut by more than half. now they're below 4% for their ldrd. and the ldrd work at our national laboratory has -- at our national laboratories has
produced some tremendous results in science. i just want to go through some of them. the gentleman from california talked about nonproliferation and what the research has done at the national laboratories as far as reducing the stockpiles across the world. well, because of the ldrd work, what we have seen is that we are able to better test nuclear weapons and verify countries and the numbers they're claiming they have for nuclear weapons across the world because we have this ldrd research. we provide cleaner energy vehicles. the chevy volt, for example. the chevy volt would not be able o cruise on battery power. also rblings airport security, we are thankful and grateful that at the airport, they are able to detect many of the explosives that terrorists would seek to use to take down an